How Long Does a Wood Deck Last on Average?

Imagine yourself sitting on your back deck. You look over your yard, sipping coffee in the early morning or a glass of wine in the evening. You think about everything you’ve done and achieved to get where you are today. 

The back deck is used to share meals and good times of all sorts. It’s where your family comes to gather, and that’s why you want it up to date and taken care of. 

Has it been a few years since you’ve updated your deck? Have you been wondering lately, “how long does a wood deck last”?

If you find yourself in that position, you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading to find out the average longevity of a deck and when to start thinking about replacing it.

How Long Does a Wood Deck Last

People use wood for their decks because it’s nice to look at and readily available, but how long does a deck last when it’s made from wood?

The longevity of your deck will depend on the type of wood you choose and if it’s been treated. If you take excellent care of a deck made of wood like cedar or mahogany, it can potentially last thirty years or more. Having a deck for this long requires maintenance, though, and you’ll need to keep an eye on any issues that may arise. 

If you instead purchase and use an ultra-durable wood, like ipe, your deck can last up to seventy-five years with little maintenance. It’s all in the material you choose and what is required to maintain it.  

Moisture is also a deck’s worst enemy. If you live in a particularly humid climate, you’ll want to use pressure-treated lumber or dense wood that isn’t going to absorb a ton of water. You can also use treated wood that is weather-resistant.

Signs You Need a New Deck

You should keep an eye on a few things, especially if your deck is getting up there in age.

Redwood, cedar, and pressure-treated lumber are the most common choices for deck materials. Redwood and cedar look warm and inviting but are susceptible to mold, mildew, warping, and insects. Pressure-treated wood is resistant to rot and insects but is known to warp and twist if it’s made of wood that is considered “lesser-grade.” 

If you start to notice any of the following issues, it might be time to consider replacing your deck.

Significant Damage

In the past, you may have needed to replace a plank or two of your deck. This type of issue is not a big deal and is easily fixable. It might be time to replace the whole deck if you have noticed significant damage from mold, water-logged or crumbling wood, excessive cracks, and more. 

Wood Rot

Rotting wood is terrible for a deck. It spreads fast and can weaken the overall structure making it dangerous. If you notice large amounts of rot, it’s probably time to replace the whole thing. 

If you decide to replace your whole deck, try picking a type of wood that is resistant to rot and speak with a professional about how you can better protect your deck from such a thing happening again. Building a deck is an investment; you should do everything you can to protect it. 

Rusted Hardware

If you have hardware that is rusted or has disappeared entirely, it might be time to replace or do some serious maintenance on your deck. Over the years, metal fittings can rust and fall away, causing structural issues. 

Keep a close eye, especially if your deck is getting up there in age. 


Depending on the material your deck was initially built with, age can be a factor in when you need to replace your deck. A well taken of care deck can last more than twenty years, but if it starts to show significant signs of age, it could be time to consider a deck replacement. 

When you eventually rebuild your deck, a material like ipe can do wonders. As mentioned, this type of wood can last up to seventy-five years with very little maintenance. You wouldn’t have to worry too much about replacing the deck in your lifetime. 

Contributing Factors to Deck Lifespan

So, how long does a wood deck last? What factors come into play when it comes to a wood deck lifespan?

The location of your deck will affect its lifespan. If it’s built under too much shade or constant direct sun, you’ll have issues. Constant shade ensures your deck will not dry out properly after rain, and direct sun can cook the boards. Find a spot where the deck gets both shade and sunlight throughout the day, if possible. 

Think about how high off the ground you want your deck to be. If it’s close to the ground, your deck will likely have many issues, like rot and mold. It’s best to build a deck higher up if possible. 

Now You Know The Average Lifespan of a Wood Deck

You came here wondering, “how long does a wood deck last” and now you should have a pretty good idea! How you treat your wood deck, the amount of maintenance you put in, and the material you use all contribute to the longevity of your deck. 

If you are interested in a type of wood known for being the longest-lasting, requiring little maintenance, you should think about buying ipe. We have a variety of ipe in planks you can use for decking, fencing, and siding. Check our price sheet for more information or give us a call at (864)-210-8644!

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